The great British summer is now upon us, with many raising a glass to toast the sunshine. However, new research reveals that summer is actually the peak season for drink-driving, with more motorists caught breaking the law during the summer months than any other.
Freedom Of Information (FOI)
According to data obtained via FOI requests from police forces across the UK, last year (2015) more than 9,0002 motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol during June, July and August. Further research reveals that, of those motorists who have admitted to drink-driving (27%), nearly a third (31%) did so during the summer months – more so than during any other season.
And summer drink-driving appears to be a recurring theme year on year. In 2014, 9,8813 motorists were caught drink-drinking in the same period (June, July and August), with this figure even higher during the summer of 2013, at 10,5024. This summer peak in drink-driving may come as a surprise to some, with more inebriated drivers getting behind the wheel during this time of year than at Christmas – traditionally a time of boozing and jollity.
However, half of British drivers (46%) admit they are more inclined to have an alcoholic drink when the sun is out. And the beer garden has been named as Brits’ favourite place to enjoy a drink (29%) in the sunshine, with over a third (36%) say it’s more tempting to go to the beer garden when the weather is nice.
Weddings and Festivals
Other summer settings which seem to entice the British public to have a tipple include festivals, weddings and sporting events (38%). And the summer months are a peak time for these types of festivities. However, the worrying thing to note is that nearly one in 10 (9%) Brits say they get drunk quicker when they consume alcohol in the sunshine. This could well explain why the rate of drink-driving arrests soar when the sun is shining.
As the research shows, sunshine, drinking alcohol and driving can be a lethal combination – and many may have experienced the consequences of this dangerous cocktail. In fact, nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits who have been a passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence of alcohol have ended up being involved in a car accident
It may come as no surprise, then, to learn that many motorists feel strongly about drink-driving, with more than a fifth (22%) saying that there should be a ban on consuming any alcohol at all while driving. Nearly half of the drivers (48%) claim that they would not drive even after just one alcoholic drink.
However, this is not a feeling shared by all drivers, with some adopting a more blasé attitude to drink-driving. Scarily, more than two-fifths of drivers (44%) admit that they would drive after one drink if they felt okay. Perhaps more shockingly, almost one in 20 (4%) claim they would still drive even after a few drinks if there was no other way of getting home.